David Cory is a morning person and French-press fan. Mornings without coffee just aren't the same!
Coffee: The Quintessential, Modern Pick-Me-Up
Perhaps one of the most prevalent beverages in modern America—and, in fact, across the world—is coffee. Coffee can come hot or cold, can be brewed strong or weak, is caffeinated or decaffeinated, etc. Just as there are various types of coffee drinks, there are also various ways to produce it. Covered in this article is the French-press method.
The French-press method is not as fast as the drip method, which is the most popular. One benefit, however, is that the oils from the coffee bean remain in the drink. This means many of the beneficial compounds are passed onto the consumer of the beverage, unlike when paper filters are used in a drip coffee maker.
The following is a tutorial on French-press coffee making with tips and tidbits along the way.
What You Need
- Whole bean coffee
- Cold, filtered water
- Cream and sugar, if desired
- Kettle, to boil the water
- Glass French press
- Coffee grinder
- Boil your water. Doing this first will allow it to cool slightly and avoid scolding the beans. Scolding the beans will impart a bitter flavor
- Grind the beans. The best type of grinder is a burr grinder. Set the grinder on coarse and grind about two to three tablespoons of beans.
- Add the hot water to the ground coffee. Give it a stir and allow it to sit for about 4 minutes.
- Press the plunger down slowly until it reaches the bottom.
- Pour the coffee into your mug and add cream and sugar to your liking.
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
— T. S. Eliot
Important Notes to Remember
Like any superb beverage such as craft beer or a high-quality wine, a great cup of coffee is created in the details. You need water, beans, and heat for sure. With even just those things, you can create a coffee drink. Therefore, just as important is clean tasking water, oily and fresh whole beans, and the proper amount of heat and brewing time. Give the coffee the attention it requires, and you will be rewarded with a smooth, not bitter, cup of Joe.
- Clean, filtered water
- High-quality whole coffee beans
- Hot (not boiling) water and four minutes of brewing time
- Slow down and don't rush the process. Haste makes waste.
My Personal Burr Grinder of Choice
Brewing the perfect cup of French press coffee requires not only the best beans but also beans that have been prepared properly.
I use the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill because it is relatively inexpensive and of great quality. At some point when you become more proficient at making French press coffee, you may want a less or more coarsely ground bean. This Burr grinder does that with a twist of a dial. It's also nice because it can hold beans in reserve until you are ready to grind them. This ensures your coffee is always the best it can be since the beans won't be stale or lose flavor from being ground in advance.
After Brewing: How Do You Take Your Coffee?
When it comes to French press coffee, everyone has their own preferences once the drink is ready. This is one area where there is no real difference between French press and, say, drip coffee. Add cream, add sugar. Drink it black or drink it sweet. Enjoy your beverage however you like. With that said, it will be apparent that the coffee has been properly brewed when you take a sip of it with nothing added and the overall taste isn't bitter, but rather smooth and rich.
I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.
— Howard Schultz
Don't Forget to Enjoy!
It's time to drink your coffee once it is finished brewing. Of course many people make their coffee to-go so they can have it on the way to work in the morning. And that's great! But if you are afforded the opportunity why no take the time to slowly sip your coffee? Take in the aroma, watch the steam float away off the top of your cup, and be present to the moment. You will be rewarded with a sense of calm and once you have finished your cup, a sense of motivation and energy.
© 2018 David Cory